Dole Foods announced Saturday that the recall of various pre-packaged chopped salads, salad blends and kits, and leafy green products due to Listeria has been extended further across Canada.
The recall, which was initially for three provinces and over 20 U.S. states, now includes Ontario, Quebec and the entire Atlantic region.
The company was forced to close down a plant in Springfield, Ohio after an outbreak of Listeria linked to Dole packaged salads.
The affected products have been sold in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador but the vegetable products from the company’s plant may have also made it to other provinces as well.
The Public Health Agency of Canada is currently investigating after seven people were hospitalized in a Listeria outbreak. In one case, a person has died but it has not been determined if Listeria contributed to the death.
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Listeria is a type of bacteria that can be found in food, soil, plants, sewage and other places in nature. Eating food with Listeria can cause a serious disease, called listeriosis, and can occur by eating meat, fish, dairy products, plants or vegetables contaminated with Listeria.
Consumers are advised that while food contaminated with Listeria may look and smell fine, it can still cause issues. Listeria symptoms may include any/or all of the following: vomiting, nausea, persistent fever, muscle aches, severe headache and neck stiffness.
The packaged salads have been sold under the brand names: Dole, Fresh Selections, Simple Truth, Marketside, The Little Salad Bar and President’s Choice.
The source of the outbreak has not been confirmed, however the agency is investigating prepackaged leafy greens, salad blends, and salad kits.
The American Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said in a statement that one person has died and 12 have been hospitalized in the U.S. by a multi-state listeria outbreak tied to Dole’s packaged salads.
Dole Food Co. officials notified the CDC on Jan. 21 that they had stopped production at a processing facility in Springfield, Ohio.
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“CDC recommends that consumers do not eat, restaurants do not serve, and retailers do not sell packaged salads produced at the Dole processing facility in Springfield, Ohio,” the CDC said in a statement.
Those who are at highest risk of serious illness, according to Health Canada, include pregnant women and unborn or newborn children, adults 65 and over, and people with weakened immune systems.
High-risk individuals should follow safe food handling practices and avoid high risk food items such as uncooked meat and vegetables, unpasteurized milk and cheeses, ready-to-eat meats such as hot dogs and deli meats, and refrigerated smoked seafood and fish.
– With files from Andrew Russell